Photo - Courtesy of Converse

A Street Mural By Aretha Brown In Collingwood That Celebrates Aboriginal Matriarchs

A new work by the young artist and Gumbaynggirr woman on the side of the Smith Street Converse store depicts a rich narrative about First Nations matriarchs and local history.

Sasha Gattermayr
21st of April 2021

Aretha Brown has lent her distinct creative style and potent political voice to a new mural in Collingwood, covering the side wall of the Converse store that sits on the corner of Kerr and Smith Streets.

The young artist and Gumbaynggirr woman worked with Uncle Jack Charles to learn more about the Country on which the mural is painted, and sought support from Wurundjeri elder,  Annette Xiberras, on the project.

The final design, dubbed Converse City Forest Mural, depicts the rich role Aboriginal elders – particularly matriarchs – occupy in community, while also acknowledging the importance of loud voices among Aboriginal youths. The whole project is part of a campaign with Converse to support Aretha’s work with the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition, which involved a limited edition T-shirt emblazoned with her designs earlier in the year.

Converse has launched the initiative around the globe, which sees young, community-focused artists decorating street facades from Warsaw to São Paulo.

You say ‘Aretha’, we say ‘We’ll be there’!

Learn more about the Converse City Forests project here.

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